What keeps supply chain managers up at night?

Cost containment, talent and global issues among the top 13 issues

01/18/2012


The supply chain arena has become a quagmire of challenges. As the world has gotten smaller, the complexity of the global supply chain has become that much more multifaceted.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Global Supply Chain Institute recently hosted a group of senior executives (VPs of supply chain to CEOs) from 39 companies in its advisory board to talk about the supply chain issues that keep them up at night. The following 13 issues encompass a vast range of concerns about their supply chains:

  1. Cost containment: In the absence of economic growth and with inflation, how do we find creative ways to contain cost? (The normal/easy things already have been done.)

  2. The economy: How do we get through the volatile times ahead in the next one to five years?

  3. Retailing changes: How do we deal with the coming change in retailing as the presence of big box stores decline and smaller footprint stores become the trend? How should we redesign our supply chain to serve these stores, especially in urban areas?

  4. Supply chain and product design: How do supply chain professionals get involved early in product/process design?

  5. Talent: How do we find and develop the supply chain talent we need to integrate the three supply chain dimensions operating in most companies (information, product, and financial)?  How can people be prepared to run all three of these in a synchronized way? How can we prepare people to understand the broad disciplines of supply chain management?

  6. Global: How do we develop the competency of our organizations and associates to understand and navigate global issues?

  7. Supply base: How do we manage the supply base in a way that creates competitive advantage?

  8. Supply chain innovation: What's next (In the next few years, not in 20 years), especially in the area of sustainability?

  9. Compliance: How do we master the increasing complexity in regulations, environmental compliance, global regulations, etc.?

  10. Transportation: How do we deal with the aging driver pool that is causing a shortage of drivers yet at much higher costs?  (Also the impact of the CSA law-carrier safety administration.)

  11. SKU complexity: How do we manage in an environment of increasing SKU proliferation and complexity?

  12. SOP: How can we best create one integrated plan to align supply with demand?

  13. Supply chain security: How do we manage security risk from geo-political to terrorists threats?

Dittmann is the executive director of the Global Supply Chain Institute in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration. Dittmann joined the university after a 30-year career in industry.  He is a certified instructor for the Project Management Institute, offering seminars around the United States in the area of global project management and change management. He has taught numerous public seminars in the areas of lean manufacturing, global business, and supply chain excellence; he has spoken at over 30 conferences.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me